Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day?

I have to admit, I was annoyed all day today to be at work while multiple friends and family members had Columbus Day off. I really could have used an extra day to recover from a weekend of pretending I was back in college. But unlike New Year's, the purpose of Columbus Day is not for me to nurse my hangoverits purpose is to honor an egomaniac who miscalculated a journey to Asia, lied to his backers about the land he came upon, and enslaved and murdered countless natives without provocation.

Howard Zinn quotes the celebrated hero's log on the first page of A People's History of the United States. Columbus wrote of the Bahama Islands' Arawak men and women who greeted him and his sailors:
"They...brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned.... They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance.... They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them and make them do whatever we want."
While wanting to celebrate Columbus Day by sleeping in and watching trash TV all day would certainly honor the selfish history of our great nation, the human in me is happy I worked through this ridiculous holiday. Now, what are we going to do about Thanksgiving next month?

1 comment:

Pam said...

God Bless America.

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